North Korea Launches Rocket

UPDATE: It appears that the Unha launch vehicle successfully placed the Kwangmyongsong-4 satellite into a 494.6 x 500 km polar orbit inclined 97.4°.

Four words you never want to see in one sentence: North Korea, rocket and launch.

It’s not clear whether the launch succeeded. U.S. Strategic Command has issued the following statement:

OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. – U.S. Strategic Command systems detected and tracked what we assess was a North Korean missile launch into space at 6:29 p.m. CST.

The missile was tracked on a southerly launch over the Yellow Sea.

NORAD determined that at no time was the missile a threat to North America. The men and women of USSTRATCOM, NORAD AND USNORTHCOM, AND USPACOM remain vigilant in the face of North Korean provocations and are fully committed to working closely with our Republic of Korea and Japanese allies to maintain security.